Cookware has evolved quite a bit since the introduction of the perfect backpacking and bushcraft cookware material, titanium. Titanium is stronger than aluminum and lighter than steel. It has a melting point over 3,000 degrees (F), higher than steel or aluminum, so you're able to go very thin with it. This makes strong, corrosion resistant, ultralight cookware.
Currently our favorite player in the game is Toaks Outdoors. Toaks thinks in depth about every design element, and if they have an issue, they fix it. For this reason we decided to start selling their gear.
- POTS -
Generally, your primary piece of cookware is your cooking pot. In some cases this may be the only thing you need to bring.
A short, wide pot has more surface area on the bottom, making it better for placing above the heat source. Anyone who uses a stove, or prefers to hang their pot from a bail, would prefer a wide pot's slightly faster boil time.
This style of pot is very common for ultralight through-hikers usually use a stove or who don't require a bail.
Toaks 900ml on top of the siphon alcohol stove
A tall, narrow pot has most of its surface area on its sides, which make it ideal for setting next to a fire, especially down-wind with the flames blowing directly on to it. Boiling water this way does not require a bail, but if the pot does have a bail, hanging the pot low in the fire and down-wind works best. Taller pots often conveniently nest a stove and fuel canisters
The 750ml pot with bail is an example of a taller pot.
A pot which is close to the same height and width is the most versatile, great for changing up your cooking methods. If you add a bail, the pot becomes even more versatile.
- CUPS -
An ideal outdoor cup will be pretty close to the same height and width. This type of cup will work just as good for a hot drink as it will a bowl for eating. A versatile cup can work as a substitute for a full-sized pot on day trips, especially if it comes with a lid. Toaks makes a few different cups, but we are currently only selling the 550 light version. The 550 light has an almost equal height and width, where as the others are tall and skinny, and the 550 has a bigger capacity than the other cups, yet it weighs less.
- PANS -
A frying pan is often the first cookware item which is left behind when shaving weight. But luckily today instead of bringing a 4 pound cast-iron skillet you can bring a 2 ounce titanium plate or pan. Cooking with a thin titanium pan does require you to pay close attention and use less intense heat to avoid burning your food, but you can't beat having a pan in the woods.
Toaks pans, from top to bottom; 145ml, 130ml, 115ml
A titanium pan will have steeper sides than the plate and will have handles built in. The handles are convenient, and these pans go up to a 5.7 inch diameter. These pans nest with certain pots, substituting the lid.
The Toaks titanium plate (top center) is larger than all of the pans at 190mm, though it has no handle
If you're looking for a wider pan with more shallow sides then you can use the titanium plate. You can use it with pot-grabbers you pack in, or even better, you can improvise a handle or pot-grabbers in the woods.
Example of an improvised handle for the titanium plate; split a stick, keep a natural knot at the base of the stick to prevent continuous splitting, wedge a small stick inside to pivot on
- UTENSILS -
It is the most convenient to bring a knife/fork/spoon set in the woods. For many people it's well worth the slight compromise in weight to bring a full set versus just a spork. That compromise is even smaller if your knife/fork/spoon set is made of titanium.
Toaks titanium knife, fork and spoon set
If you're rather weight conscious, you're better off settling for just a spoon or a spork.
Toaks titanium ultralight spork, 12.5 grams
If you eat a lot of dehydrated meals out of the package, or directly from a pot, the long-handle spoon or long-handle spork are great choices.
Toaks long-handled spoon with polished bowl; the length is useful for eating from dehydrated meal bags or directly from a pot
- STOVES -
Naturally, there is nothing more lightweight and traditional than cooking with a campfire. However, in some areas campfires are not permitted, or perhaps you want to boil/cook more quickly with less hassle.
The easiest and fastest stoves to use are canister stoves. These are convenient, and may be the only way to cook in very cold conditions or very high altitudes. But in most situations canister stoves are traded in favor for other alternatives.
An alcohol stove is lighter than a canister stove, and on a resupply almost any convenience or hardware store carries denatured alcohol. Improvised alcohol stoves work decently well, but they don't have the efficiency of a true siphon alcohol stove. The Toaks siphon alcohol stove is surprisingly small and light, yet produces a substantial flame.
Toaks siphon alcohol stove with wire frame pot stand
A wood burning stove is a great choice if you want to combine the self-reliance of a campfire with the efficiency of a stove.
A regular box stove or "hobo stove" essentially contains a small campfire. A woodgas stove actually turns the wood and smoke into a gas flame.
These do take a bit of practice to stoke and work effectively, but they are very popular for an explorer in a desolate wilderness land. Toaks makes two sizes of woodgas style stoves; regular and small.
We hope that this helped answer any questions might have had on the Toaks products we carry. Thank you for your time - if you have any questions, feel free to ask below.
Interested in purchasing some of this stuff? Click here to be brought to our outdoor cookware collection.